Jews in Literature Criticism: Representing The Jew In Literature - Essay

Harold Fisch (essay date 1971)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Fisch, Harold. “The Twentieth Century.” In The Dual Image: The Figure of the Jew in English and American Literature, pp. 80-97. New York: Ktav Publishing House, Inc., 1971.

[In the following excerpt, Fisch explores the treatment of Jewish characters in various twentieth-century literary works and suggests that in these works the Jew emerges as “a symbol of the moral victory of the human spirit.”]


When we turn to the twentieth century we note that in spite of the generally soberer presentation of Jews the mythological outline remains. In E. M. Forster's early novel, The Longest Journey (1907),...

(The entire section is 5917 words.)

Harry Girling (essay date 1990)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Girling, Harry. “The Jew in James Joyce's Ulysses.” In Jewish Presences in English Literature, edited by Derek Cohen and Deborah Heller, pp. 96-112. Montreal, Canada: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1990.

[In the following essay, Girling presents a detailed examination of the character of Leopold Bloom in James Joyce's novel Ulysses, focusing on Joyce's conception of Bloom's typical and atypical Jewish traits.]

Unlike the Jews discussed in the previous chapters, the Jew in James Joyce's Ulysses, Leopold Bloom, is usually thought of as an Everyman figure. Not that he is going about looking for his soul, like the central character of the...

(The entire section is 6979 words.)

Susan Rubin Suleiman (essay date 1995)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Suleiman, Susan Rubin. “The Jew in Sartre's Réflexions sur la question juive: An Exercise in Historical Reading.” In The Jew in the Text: Modernity and the Construction of Identity, edited by Linda Nochlin and Tamar Garb, pp. 201-18. London: Thames and Hudson, 1995.

[In the following essay, Suleiman discusses Jean-Paul Sartre's Réflexions sur la question juive in the context of French attitudes toward Jews in the 1940s. Suleiman points out anti-Semitic elements in Sartre's language even as he is criticizing anti-Semitism.]

… that book is a declaration of war against anti-Semites.


(The entire section is 11066 words.)

Maud Ellmann (essay date 1996)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Ellmann, Maud. “The Imaginary Jew: T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound.” In Between “Race” and Culture, edited by Bryan Cheyette, pp. 84-101. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1996.

[In the following essay, Ellmann identifies elements of their stance toward Jews in the works of T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, concluding that the two poets “projected their own darkness” upon them.]

These tears are shaken from the wrath-bearing tree.

—T. S. Eliot, “Gerontion”

T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, like Coleridge and Wordsworth, tend to be coupled in literary history and hence to be regarded as accomplices. There are many...

(The entire section is 9203 words.)

Phyllis Lassner (essay date 1996)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Lassner, Phyllis. “‘The Milk of Our Mothers' Kindness Has Ceased to Flow’”: Virginia Woolf, Stevie Smith, and the Representation of the Jew.” In Between “Race” and Culture, edited by Bryan Cheyette, pp. 129-44. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1996.

[In the following essay, Lassner points out ambivalent images of Jews in several works by Virginia Woolf and Stevie Smith, respectively, noting that the coming of World War II was a milestone event in both writers' thinking about Jews.]

Among the constantly shifting boundaries of canon formation, perhaps no other text so represents the intersection of gender, modernism, and anti-militarism as...

(The entire section is 9200 words.)

Ronald Granofsky (essay date winter 1999)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Granofsky, Ronald. “‘Jews of the Wrong Sort’: D. H. Lawrence and Race.” Journal of Modern Literature 23, no. 2 (winter 1999): 209-23.

[In the following essay, Granofsky traces Lawrence's anti-Semitic attitudes to his ideas about race, culture, and masculinity.]

In The Captain's Doll, a novella from the early 1920s, D. H. Lawrence takes his protagonist, Captain Alexander Hepburn, from post-war occupied Germany to Tyrolean Austria in amorous pursuit of the much younger Countess Johanna zu Rassentlow, familiarly known as Hannele, after the captain's wife has died under suspicious circumstances. The two travel together to a mountain glacier and stay...

(The entire section is 8917 words.)